Volunteer Spotlight: Musically Talented Volunteers

Do you hear the people singing? Do you hear the people playing? Do you hear the people strumming? Chances are that if you are on the Tel Hai Campus you will hear our choir singing a beautiful melody, the sounds of chimes ringing through the halls or the ukulele band playing our favorite songs to sing along to from the past.

Who are the Musical Talent Volunteers?

We thank our Musically Talented Volunteers: John and Jane Stager, Herb and Lillian Davis, Edith Smith, Eleanor Smith, Turene McConaghy, Bea Kubany, Janet Smith, Willa Theilacker, Roy France, Peg Willis, Tom Ahlborn, Betty Renish, Rod Muthard, Connie Eells, Betsey Collins, Paul Bisch, Don Evans, Bill Emmanuel, Bill Butler, Joan Lorenz, Aleta Connell, Arlan and Mary Bond, Shirley Loomis, Waneta Zimmerman, Ruth Daly, Hal Ely, and Eunice Fink! Most of these volunteers call Tel Hai ‘home’… but not all. Those who are residents have lived here ranging from 19 years to only 2 weeks!

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Why do they volunteer?

From month-to-month of interviewing spotlight volunteers, we always ask ‘why volunteer?’ This group mirrored many other volunteer spotlights when they told us that volunteering:

  1. Is something they’ve always done and usually started by following their parent’s actions!
  2. Keeps them involved and busy – just as they prefer!
  3. Is never seen as an imposition!

A unique answer from our musical volunteers on why they continue to volunteer is because of their love of music and bringing it to other people.

One volunteer said he has made music his entire life and couldn’t imagine not bringing it to others. In fact, he doesn’t consider singing or playing in the chime choir work at all! Instead, he considers it a simple joy and appreciates those who come and listen because he gets to continue his passion and share it with others.

A choir member sent giggles through the room when she stated ‘ I started volunteering when someone asked me to help and 12 years later nobody else has offered to take my place!’ She also mentioned she wouldn’t think of stopping because she loves good Christian music and loves bringing that to everyone who hears them sing.

We already know these individuals don’t view volunteering as an imposition. And among the volunteers interviewed, there was a common thread when asked ‘why do you continue to share music with others through volunteering?’

For starters, they all agree that it’s fun! After spending a few minutes with these individuals it was clear to see they enjoy each other’s company. They also enjoy seeing the expressions on the faces they are playing or singing for.

One ukulele band member stated ‘To see someone who has forgotten many things from their life sing along to your song, it brings joy to your world.’ These musical volunteers enjoy entertaining people, learning new music, and using their God given talents each and every week.

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What skills do they bring?

Music can be loved by everyone, and not just those who are musically talented. Our talented volunteers may come from different backgrounds and careers, but their love for music runs through them all.

The ukulele band consists of a retired professor, business owner, salesman, nurse, farm wife… and when they all come together beautiful music is made.

The Tel Hai Chime Choir members include a school teacher, preacher, salesman, phone company employee, banking associate, book keeper, administrative assistant… and they can all play along to the same beat.

The Tel Hai Choir is comprised of a piano teacher, English teacher, salesman, controller, CPA, insurance company employee, working with electronics, or even a domestic home engineer… and they can harmonize beautifully.

Where do they volunteer?

Among the more than 30 musically talented volunteers we interviewed, we found volunteers serving not only musically, but elsewhere with the same passion as they do when they perform.

Among the areas our volunteers lend their time includes: Garrett Community Center Desk, Campus and Community Shuttle, Chapel, Wood Shop, package delivery, Meals on Wheels, Resident Council, coffee houses, Lakeview and Garrett Community Center Libraries, friendly visiting, Tel Hai Board, resale shop, quilting, etc.

These individuals logged more than 3,200 hours in 2014 along with many, many more countless hours that never get logged. That’s a lot of hard work, and squeezing in time to make beautiful music right here on our campus.

We were lucky enough they took 30 minutes out of their busy schedules to sit down with us to discuss their volunteering!

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What do they do?

We are proud of our three main areas of musical talents on campus; chime choir, ukulele band and choir. The chime choir consists of chimes ranging in size from a 6 inch high C note to a large, bass chime that’s almost 2 feet long!

Played together they ring a beautiful harmony every Tuesday morning in the Gathering room. Roam the halls by the Chapel on Wednesday mornings and you’ll hear the choir singing songs for their next chapel performance.

Or head down to Adult Day on Monday mornings to listen to the Ukulele band play favorite tunes such as ‘Take me out to the ballgame’ and many more!

But members of the ukulele band play more than a small 4 stringed instrument. Other members play the guitar, washboard, auto harp, or the melodica. And you’ll also find a few different sized ukuleles as the instrument comes in 4 sizes. Talk about a group of talented individuals!

Staff sings their praises!

Our talented volunteers bring joy to all who hear; and that includes our staff as well. Adult Day services thoroughly enjoys the time the ukulele band spends entertaining the residents. Tammy Jacobs, Director of Adult Day Services adds, ‘They bring a lot of laughter into the Adult Day Center. Their jokes and music are silly, and the camaraderie is wonderful. I feel blessed to have them as a team of volunteers in Adult Day Services.’

Tim Herr, VP of Pastoral Care beautifully notes, “No one imagines heaven to be devoid of music, so music is an important part of worship services.  Both the Chime Choir and the Tel Hai Choir lead worship through music at least monthly in the Tel Hai Chapel program. Both musician groups take practice seriously and commit to practicing weekly. The end result is always beautiful music that inspires us.”

Their directors, Jane Stager and Olga Bleecker spend hours in preparation even before practice selecting music.  Music chosen for both groups is selected with obvious care for theme and words and always just hard enough to challenge the musicians but not so hard that the music discourages the members. It is obvious that participants enjoy being with each other.

We are so grateful to have both the Tel Hai Choir and the Tel Hai Chime Choir enhance our worship together.

Music can help lift our hearts and souls in any occasion, any day of the week. Our Tel Hai community would not be the same without the effort and heart of these wonderful and musically talented volunteers!

For their countless hours of practicing, for getting dressed in their finest white shirt and black bottoms, and most of all for bringing song and happiness to our Tel Hai campus we thank our Musically Talented Volunteers and highlight them in our volunteer spotlight!

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2 Replies to “Volunteer Spotlight: Musically Talented Volunteers”

  1. Thank you for sharing your gifts.
    “Music is God’s gift to man, the only art of Heaven given to earth, the only art of earth we take to Heaven.” – Walter Savage

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